Brittney Griner has left the Texas military facility the place she was once present process bodily and psychological analysis following her free up from 10 months of detention in Russia.
The basketball big name were staying on the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio after US officers secured her freedom ultimate week in a prisoner change for Russian hands broker Viktor Bout.
“It feels so good to be home,” stated Griner in a remark launched on Friday. “The ultimate 10 months were a struggle at each flip. I dug deep to stay my religion and it was once the affection from such a lot of of you that helped stay me going. From the ground of my center, thanks to everybody in your assist.
The double Olympic champion was once arrested in February at an airport outdoor Moscow for sporting vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her baggage. She was once due to this fact sentenced to 9 years in jail, and was once transferred to one in every of Russia’s maximum infamous penal colonies, the place former inmates have described torture, harsh beatings and slave hard work stipulations.
In her remark on Friday, Griner thanked her circle of relatives, felony staff, teammates and fellow WNBA gamers. She additionally said Joe Biden’s section in her freedom and stated she was hoping for the discharge of Paul Whelan, the previous US Marine who has served nearly 4 years of a 16-year sentence in Russia for alleged spying. The Biden management were criticized by means of some Republicans for securing the discharge of Griner whilst Whelan stays in Russia.
“President Biden, you introduced me house and I do know you’re dedicated to bringing Paul Whelan and all Americans house too. I will be able to use my platform to do no matter I will that can assist you,” said Griner in her statement. “I also encourage everyone that played a part in bringing me home to continue their efforts to bring all Americans home. Every family deserves to be whole.
Griner had traveled to Russia during the WNBA offseason to play for UMMC Ekaterinburg. The 32-year-old, one of the best basketball players in the world, said she has every intention of returning to play for the Phoenix Mercury for the new WNBA season, which starts in May.
“I also want to make one thing very clear: I intend to play basketball for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury this season, and in doing so, I look forward to being able to say ‘thank you’ to those of you who advocated, wrote, and posted for me in person soon,” she stated.